Category Archives: California

Donald Trump and the ‘No Fear’ Factor Makes a Big Impression on the New GOP Base.

“‘… [T]he base’ isn’t the limited, clichéd thing it once was, it’s becoming a big, broad jumble that few understand.”

Political writer Peggy Noonan recently took stock of the Donald Trump phenomenon and declared, “America is so in play.” Her buddies in the GOP glitteratti noticed. 

Image Credit: Donald Trump For President
Image Credit: Donald Trump For President

Noonan cited the latest polls, an old friend from Ross Perot’s ’92 presidential campaign, a democrat-turned-GOP/Trump fan girl and the guy at the local deli from the Dominican Republic to conclude the New York businessman embodies the kind of gruff gravitas voters crave.

Trump’s campaign appears to be, as he is himself, a political stem cell, morphing into whatever seems to jibe with what’s in the news and the latest intelligence of the day. He speaks fearlessly, sometimes foolishly. Like a ‘Trump the Insult Dog,’ Trump has no filter. 

He’s learning to campaign as he goes. He’s getting good at it.

GOP elites and Jeb Bush backers, but I repeat myself, counter with Trump’s leftist positions on Planned Parenthood funding, taxes, single payer health care — hoping that will tamp down his support with the base and make their own moderate positions on the same seem conservative by comparison. Ordinarily that would persuade many, but instead, Trump’s poll numbers are increasing!

Press coverage is following:

Noonan believes, after talking with the deli guy from the DR, that the base isn’t what it used to be:

“‘… [T]he base’ isn’t the limited, clichéd thing it once was, it’s becoming a big, broad jumble that few understand.”

Noonan opines the little people (that’s us) believe the game is rigged against them. But she claims we have company:

“…[D]eep down the elite themselves also think the game is rigged. They don’t disagree, and they don’t like what they see—corruption, shallowness and selfishness in the systems all around them. Their odd anguish is that they have no faith the American people can—or will—do anything to turn it around.”

Peggy’s old boss, Ronald Reagan, famously said,

“Don’t be afraid to see what you see.”

Here’s what ‘the base’ sees after they gave the GOP elites victories in 2010 and 2012:

  • Failed to repeal, replace or defund ObamaCare out of fear of being blamed for a government shut down or media reaction.
  • Failed to call out Hillary Clinton’s Suzie Homemaker server when they discovered it out of fear Democrat and media backlash. 
  • Forfeited their constitutional job of advising and consenting on treaties which led to Iran deal for fear of not looking bipartisan.
  • Failed to lead on border security and the “broken” immigration system for legal immigrants for fear of being portrayed as bigots. 
  • Failed to demand action against sanctuary cities for fear of looking anti immigrant.
  • Failed to stand for the rule of law against President Obama’s illegal executive orders for fear of being depicted as quixotic.
  • Failed to call out bad cops and stand up for good ones for fear of being called bigoted.
  • Failed to call for independent investigations with subpoena power— not just hearings —-on Benghazi and IRS spying scandal, a scandal so cynical and tyrannical it goes to the very core of democracy for fear of media backlash or pushback from Main Justice.

“Don’t be afraid to see what you see.”

Instead of flooding the zone with legislative leadership, media messaging and “getting in peoples’ faces,” as candidate Obama once advised, the GOP has been playing hide and seek behind the velvet curtains in their offices and considering us suspiciously through the cut crystal lens of their Calleija brandy snifters. Instead of leading, they shiver in the dark with vain hopes the media will say nice things about them. Instead of fighting, they’ve provided nothing but excuses or mocked or shouted down members who did try to fight back. 

The former (you’re welcome GOP elites) Senate leader Harry Reid once disdainfully said of the Americans who tour the Capitol: 

“I can smell the tourists.”

Since giving them the gavel and the big chair in the House and Senate, the GOP reaction to the people who put them in leadership has been akin to finding something sticky on the bottom of their Santoni wingtips.

The people Noonan says experience “odd anguish is that they have no faith the American people can—or will—do anything to turn it around,” missed the Tea Party, apparently. The people in whom they have no faith —the liberty-loving black, Hispanic, white, gay, straight, Christian, atheists of the Tea Party— were at first embraced and then dismissed by the GOP elites out of fear of looking too scary. But these are some of the same people who have put the country “so in play.”

Here’s what I believe people find refreshing about Trump and what distinguishes him from the GOP elite. It’s not only that he’s not afraid to tell his opponents he thinks they’re wrong. No. It’s that he’s not afraid at all. 

Rees Lloyd’s Liberty Milestone: Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial — Saved ‘As it is, Where it is”!

Great news: The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial in La Jolla, CA, has been purchased — and hopefully thereby saved …

Charles LiMandri and author Rees Lloyd  Photo: Victoria Taft
Charles LiMandri and author Rees Lloyd
Photo: Victoria Taft
…  “as it is, where it is,” with Cross intact, for generations of Americans to come —  by the non-profit Mt. Soledad Memorial Association from the federal Department of Defense.
 
The Memorial Association announced on Monday, July 21, 2015, that its purchase of the Memorial for $1.4-million was finalized on July 17. This effectively transferred ownership of the memorial site honoring veterans from “public land” under federal ownership to “private land” of the Association, a non-governmental, non-profit, private organization. The Association has maintained the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial since its founding in 1954 in conjunction with  wartime veterans of American Legion La Jolla Post  275.
 
Originally established to honor Korean War Veterans, it was expanded to honor all veterans, especially those who gave their lives in defense of American freedom. The Memorial is on land originally owned by the City of San Diego, which was transferred to the federal DOD in 2006. It now has some 3,500 plaques on tiered walls beneath a 29-foot cross honoring all veterans atop Mt. Soledad. (See, www.soledadmemorial.com.)
Photo: Victoria Taft
Photo: Victoria Taft
Photo: Victoria Taft
Photo: Victoria Taft
 
The secular extremist American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been suing for some twenty-six (26) years now to destroy the Mt. Soledad Memorial on the basis that the Cross honoring veterans there has been on “public land” and, therefore, violates the Establishment of Religion Clause of the First Amendment. However, it is now on “private land.” That has an enormous impact on the ACLU’s lawsuit, which is again  pending in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.
 
The DOD was authorized to sell the Memorial to the  Association by the National Defense Act of 2015,  adopted by House and Senate and signed by President of Obama last December.
 
That legislation was the result of a bill initiated by Congressman Duncan Hunter, former U.S. Marine combat veteran who represents the District  and who has led the effort in Congress to save the memorial.
Photo: Politico
Photo: Politico
 
In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the ACLU  in the similar case of Buono vs. Salazar, commonly known as the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross Case. There, the ACLU sued in 2002  to destroy a veterans memorial established by VFW members to honor WWI veterans in 1934. ACLU sued because it included a cross on a rock outcrop on federal land in the remote Mojave Desert Preserve. ACLU sued even though there was no complaint in some 70 years, and the Cross was twelve miles off the highway and a person had to drive to it to be offended by it. 
Photo: Cafe Press
Photo: Cafe Press
 
After the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal ordered the the Mojave Cross had to be destroyed, Congress voted to exchange that one-acre site for five acres of private land donated by Henry and Wanda Sandoz, who had cared for the memorial for decades. Since the Cross was now on private land, the Supreme Court nullified the 9th Circuit decision that the Establishment Clause was violated and remanded the case. ACLU finally surrendered on remand in 2012, announcing in court it  would cease attempting to destroy the cross.
 
While there is no way to know to a certainty whether the ACLU will finally cease its quarter-century of litigation to destroy the Mt. Soledad Memorial now that it is on private land, the Association, and those public interest law firms who have been representing veterans against the ACLU’s lawsuits, have hailed implementation of Duncan Hunter’s land-transfer legislation as signaling that the memorial will at last remain “as it is, where it is” without further successful litigation molestation by the ACLU.
 
Bruce Bailey, President and CEO of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association board of trustees, said:
“I am honored to be leading our Association at this most significant time in our Memorial’s history. It marks for the first time where our membership can manage the Memorial’s affairs from a place of ownership and accountability for the property, which is a new and welcomed step for the Association.”
 
Reacting to the news of the transfer to the Association of the Mt. Soledad Memorial originally founded by the local American Legion La Jolla Post 275 more than a half-century ago,  American Legion National Commander Michael D. Helm said he hoped it would end the litigation attacks of the ACLU:
 
“Frankly, it shouldn’t have been necessary for the government to sell the land to a private group in order to preserve a memorial that is deeply significant to so many people. The American Legion believes in ‘God and Country.’ Unfortunately, some courts don’t always see it that way. “
(For the full response of the American Legion, the nation’s largest veterans organization, see http://www.legion.org/news/229284/legion-praises-mt-soledad-memorial-association-saving-cross#sthash.NJwI7zy1.dpuf
Liberty Institute, based in Texas, represents the Memorial Association against the ACLU in the present Mt. Soledad case pending in the 9th Circuit. LI issued a statement that “after a 25-year legal battle, the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial is finally saved…[it] ends a legal dispute regarding the constitutionality of the memorial on government land.”
Photo: Liberty Institute
Photo: Liberty Institute
 
Hiram Sasser, Liberty Institute’s Deputy Chief Counsel, said:
“The Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross has stood since 1954 as a symbol of the selfless sacrifice of our nation’s veterans. Such a sacred memorial should receive our highest honor and protection. Today’s actions will ensure that the memorial will continue to stand in honor of our veterans for decades to come. This is a great victory for the veterans who originally placed this memorial and the Korean War veterans the memorial honors. We thank our lead counsel, Allyson Ho, and her team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, who worked tirelessly to defend the memorial, leading to this ultimate victory.”
(For more information, www.LibertyInstitute.org.)
 
Charles S. LiMandri, President and Chief Counsel for the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF), has actively participated in efforts to maintain the Memorial Cross “as it is, where it is” since 2004.  The FCDF, along with Attorney Peter Lepiscopo, represents Congressman Duncan Hunter. 
 
LiMandri, who has been credited with doing more than any other single person to save the Mt. Soledad Cross,  said of the Memorial’s transfer to the Association:
“We are delighted that the longest running religious liberty case is coming to a successful conclusion after 26 years.  Any future legal challenge to the transfer of the Memorial property from the federal government to the Memorial Association is likely to fail in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Salazar v. Buono, 559 U.S. 700 (2010), which approved trade of federal property to private ownership for the purpose of preserving the Mojave Memorial Cross. The Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund extends its hearty congratulations to the Memorial Association and its counsel.”
(For more on FCDF, see www.ConscienceDefense.org.)
 
Joseph Infranco is Senior Counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and co-founder, with me, of the Defense of Veterans Memorials Project of The American Legion Dept. of California and the Alliance Defending Freedom. 
 
Charles LiMandri and author Rees Lloyd  Photo: Victoria Taft
Charles LiMandri and author Rees Lloyd
Photo: Victoria Taft
He said of the transfer of Mt. Soledad to the Memorial Association:
“Monuments that honor the very people who have fought and died to protect our freedoms should be preserved in the best possible way. Though perhaps understandable, it’s unfortunate that Congress felt forced to take the safe route of a land transfer to protect this cherished memorial. Memorial crosses on government land honoring those who served and died are not an establishment of religion any more than the memorial crosses that grace Arlington National Cemetery. Nonetheless, all should take some comfort that the Mount Soledad Memorial will be  well cared for and free from the illegitimate attacks of those who have sought to uproot it.  We trust that this move will allow the memorial and its cross to be enjoyed and revered for generations to come.”
(For more on ADF, see www.adflegal.com)
 
Our Defense of Veterans Memorials Project was created, and first became involved in litigation combatting the ACLU in 2006 when a U.S. District Court ordered the City of San Diego to destroy the Mt. Soledad Cross within 90-days or it would impose a fine of $5,000 per day. We entered the litigation to support Attorney Chuck LiMandri who at the time was carrying the legal battle against ACLU almost alone. 
Mt Soledad Freedom Isnt Free
 
To the shock of most in the legal community, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay order preventing destruction of the Cross after the Ninth Circuit had denied a stay order pending appeal. 
 
The Memorial was saved at the time by passage of the Mt. Soledad National War Memorial Protection Act of 2006, which transferred Mt. Soledad from the City of San Diego to the federal DOD. This effectively nullified the U.S. District Court’s destruction order, since that case was tried under the California Constitution, not the U.S. Constitution. That Mt. Soledad Protection Act passed the House overwhelmingly, and the U.S. Senate without objection, including no objection by then Sen. Barack Obama. 
 
Then-President George W. Bush signed the Mt. Soledad Protection Act into law. Attorney Charles LiMandri, because of his singular and remarkable pro bono efforts to save the Cross was invited by President Bush to attend the signing ceremony.
 
Now, with the Mt. Soledad Memorial again facing destruction by the ACLU’s lawsuit, Rep. Duncan Hunter, a combat Marine, has led the effort in Congress to authorize a transfer of Mt. Soledad by sale into the private hands of the Memorial Association, as Congress did in the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross case (Buono vs.Salazar).
 
This may or may not deter the ACLU in its secular-cleansing, cross-destroying fanaticism, even to the point of attacking veterans memorials. If it does not, those who have fought to preserve Mt. Soledad will continue to fight, as long as it takes, to prevent the desecration of it or any veterans memorials by intolerant extremists epitomized by the ACLU, which, in my opinion, has become the Taliban of American liberal secularism.
Photo: Victoria Taft
Photo: Victoria Taft
 
As co-founder with Joe Infranco of the Defense of Veterans Memorials Project, I thank Joe Infranco and all at ADF; Hiram Sasser, Kelly Schackleford, and all at Liberty Institute; Chuck LiMandri and all at Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund; Attorney Pete Lepiscopo; Congressman Duncan Hunter; and all of who have fought so long and so hard to save Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial “as it is, where it is,” and as it was intended to be by the American veterans who founded it to honor their comrade veterans.
 
This thanks includes American Legionnaires in California who have continued to fight against the ACLU. They have, among other things, established plaques at Mt. Soledad honoring Maj. General Patrick H. Brady (USA, ret., Medal of Honor, Vietnam); Admiral Jeremiah A. Denton (USN, ret.; Navy Cross, POW for seven years/seven months in Vietnam); Legendary Legionnaires Leo Burke (USMC, WWII), and Robert J. “Uncle Bobby” Castillo (USN, WWII); and, on February 3, 2014, the Immortal Four Chaplains. (See, attached photo of California Legionnaires at Four Chaplains ceremonies beneath the Cross at Mt. Soledad, joined by former Navy Seal Larry Wilske (ret.), now Executive Secretary of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association.)
Photo: Free Republic
Photo: Free Republic

 

I thank them all for fighting as Patton taught—“Audacity, Audacity, Always Audacity;” and staying the course as Churchill taught:
“Never give up. Never, never, never give up.”
 
As veterans, and as patriots, we must not, we will not, allow desecration  of memorials honoring veterans, no matter how offensive those memorials may be to enemies of America, foreign or domestic.
 
(Rees Lloyd, a longtime California civil rights attorney and veterans activist, is a member of the Victoria Taft Blogforce)

A California Teacher Just Retired at 61. His Salary Made Me Audibly Gasp.

no Twitter with current idA few weeks ago I was in Laguna Beach checking out the sights and decided to pick up the local newspaper, The Laguna Beach Independent. What I saw made me reach for my phone to take a picture of this story:

 

Photo: Laguna Beach Independent
Photo: Laguna Beach Independent

 

The story was about a dedicated teacher who, after 25 years, is retiring. It was also about the see-saw battle over who would replace Mark Dressler at his dual job: full time teacher at the local high school and a 40% job at the local middle school.

His former principal was amazed by Dressler’s dedication:

Mark was pretty well tied up for every hour of his day.

Dressler worked 8 hours a day. By teachers’ standards this apparently qualifies as extraordinary.

To be fair, however, Dressler’s job meant some after school and evening work.

Why? Was he a STEM teacher? Did he teach hard sciences or math? Did he lead his students to the Intel awards or even the local science fair? Maybe he led the high school students to win the Constitution Debate contest which required occasional weekend competitions. Could that be it?

No.

Dressler was a drama teacher.

And now he has been enticed to retire at age 61 at a salary of $208,982.56.

Reg Pay              Extra Pay   Benefits         Total

Mark Dressler MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER
Laguna Beach Unified, 2013
$168,778.00 $3,380.00 $36,824.56 $208,982.56

Source: Transparent California

If you look at the graph below from Ed.100.org , you’ll see how California teachers pensions are quite generous. By year 30, teachers make a fortune in their pensions for the typical salary. The pension dwarfs their salaries.

The graph below expresses the total financial compensation a hypothetical teacher in Oakland receives each year, including each year’s increase in promised lifetime STRS pension benefits. This example is based on the Oakland salary schedule in 2006, a suitably representative example.

Cal STRS

The organization makes anyone with eyes to see who and possesses a pulse ask: Can California afford this?

Well, actually no.

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube

The LA Daily News reports the unfunded liability from the teachers pensions are up to $70.5 billion.  And if you count all public employee pension plans, the number grows to a staggering, at $198 billion. Billion.

Worse:

That’s 31 times the unfunded liability 10 years earlier.

Which brings us back to Mr. Dressler.

According to The Independent, Dressler was given an offer he couldn’t refuse:

At 61, Dressler is taking advantage of an infrequent retirement incentive that kicks teachers retiring early into a higher pension bracket.

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube

Here’s the description of the incentive the California Teachers Association was granted by negotiators on behalf of the tax payers:

The employer pays the benefit’s costs and associated administrative fees to CalSTRS. The terms of the Memorandum of Understanding may place additional, more restrictive eligibility requirements on employees, or may specify groups of employees eligible to receive a 2+2 benefit, a retirement incentive to provide two years of service credit and two additional years of additional age factor.

Dressler got some variation of this deal. He’d be stupid not to take it.

And what did Laguna Beach schools get?

The loss of a beloved, experienced (and, yes, highly paid) teacher.

And they’re hiring two teachers to take his place. Those teachers get pensions, too.

Addendum:

I checked salaries at some of the other districts in California 2012/2013:

San Diego’s Grossmont School District:

teacher grossmont

Santa Barbara School District:

teacher santa barbara

 

 

Political Vanguard: Why Jerry Brown’s Water Plan Isn’t Serious

California’s Problem of Long Standing is a Shock! Shock, I Tell You! to Pols in Sacramento.

Divining Rod - Photo provided by  Victoria Taft

In response, our savvy Sacramento swashbuckling legislators have now taken out their mighty divining rods, put their ears to ground, put a wet finger in the air, assessed the political climate and determined that now is the time to rip up our lawns and shorten our showers — or else.

As any 5th grader can tell you, California is comprised of eleven different types of climates which can be simplified into four basic categories: Mediterranean Dry, Look at the Trees, Why Is it So Foggy Here, and, Hella Hot. The Mojave Desert is often the hottest place in the country in the summer. We’re in year four of a drought. But, as Tom Del Beccaro points out here in Forbes, we’re still ‘enjoying’ the wettest century California has had in 7,000 years. In short, the problem is not new.

The question then becomes, what have our elected leaders done about it?

Recently, lawmakers have spent time trying to put Sea World out of business, given money in energy grants to build solar arrays that make birds explode in mid-air — pfft! — incentivized people who aren’t even citizens of California (or the country) to come and receive ‘free’ stuff taken from taxpayers, and planned to spend $68 billion on a slo-mo train to nowhere.

Apparently legislators think money grows on the trees farmers haven’t been forced to rip out in the Central Valley for lack of water.

But instead of pointing at the budget priorities of the state he leads, instead of acknowledging the actual California climate, instead of wagging a reproving forefinger at the environmentalists who have driven the natural resources agenda which diverts water to bait fish over people, Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday blamed something else:

“I can tell you, from California, climate change is not a   hoax. We’re dealing with it, and it’s damn serious.”

Gov. Jerry Brown - Photo Credit Victoria Taft

… said the man who proposed the $68 billion choo choo but killed an $11 billion water storage bill proffered by State Senate Republicans in 2014 because it would ‘break the bank’.

Cue dead pac mac music.

Jerry Brown wants you to believe the cyclical California drought is new-and-worse-than-ever-and-how could he possibly have known? 

Let’s go to the tote board where a cursory check of expenditures yields these figures used for water programs in just the last few years:

2006: $660 million (flood diversion)

2014: $870 million

2014: (voters) $7.5 billion (only $2.7b of which would be used for water storage)

2015:  $20 mil from Feds to farmers

2015: $1billion (including for food baskets for workers in the Central Valley who have lost their jobs due to environmentalists succeeding in diverting water it for the restoration of the ‘delta smelt’ and ruining farms.)

People rightly wonder why the expended billions have not resulted in new reservoirs and desalination plants either started or in the pipeline. That’s because water for people, while a basic function of government, has been taken for granted.

Conservationists have done magnificent things to improve air and water quality in California, but as environmental advocacy has turned into Big Green, they’ve also stood in the way of getting water to people. Under environmental law, individuals have standing to bring lawsuits against anything. The environmental review process takes years to navigate and lawsuits add time and expense. The private desalination plant in Carlsbad was subjected to 14 lawsuits, for example. At long last, notwithstanding attempts to kill it by environmentalists, the plant is coming on-line in the fall — just in time to deliver more water to people.

Environmentalists have overseen the removal of 12 dams in the state from through 2014 in an attempt to return rivers back to their wild state, but that also potentially means less water for people.

Government inertia is also responsible for lack of water. While Governor Brown promises he’ll fast-track water projects this time under his executive order, his administration still hasn’t put in motion half the projects from Emergency Drought Relief passed by the legislature last year.

California also loses 10% of its water from leaky pipes, according to state figures. Last week, 82,000 gallons of water spilled from Santa Clarita after a series of earthquakes. Last July, a water main break near UCLA sent 20 million gallons down the drains along Sunset Boulevard.

Conserving water is the right thing to do, of course. I’ve lived in California on-and-off since the 1980’s and conservation efforts have been a part of the message from water departments since then, if not before. This is California, after all.

Short showers, turning off the water while I brush my teeth, re-using dog water to water plants, low flow everything are just part of life for me. I took those habits with me when I moved back to Oregon, where water is plentiful.

But I have a solution to ease the pain for citizens subjected to Brown’s deputizing of the water police to go after lawn waterers, car washers and people with green lawns.  While Brown is ripping up the earth to put in the slo-mo train to nowhere, he can count it against the 50 million square feet of lawns he demanded be ripped out to conserve water.

That’s something at least.

 

Hillary Clinton isn’t smelling what SABO is cooking!

hillary flying monkeys

Hillary Clinton’s ‘welcome’ committee came a little early when street artist SABO plastered a Brentwood, California neighborhood with his iconic flying monkeys depiction of the former, and possibly future, presidential candidate in advance of her fundraiser here Monday.

Photo by Hollywood Reporter
Photo by Hollywood Reporter

The US Senate fundraiser is planned for Monday at the Tavern Restaurant by the biggest of the Hollywood A-Listers. Here’s who the Hollywood Reporter says will be in attendance:

The list of co-chairs for the Oct. 20 event, which will include a dinner and reception at Tavern restaurant, now includes Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw, Alanand Cindy Horn, Casey Wasserman, Live Nation’s Michael Rapino, tech investor Shervin Pishevar and Andy Spahn,according to an invite circulating among top fundraisers in Hollywood.

In addition to Clinton, senators Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and Michael Bennet are also attending the event, with tickets selling for $32,400 per person.

But the anti Hillary forces contrived a faux version of the restaurant’s website and changed a few things around–such as the menus:

Instead of delectable menu items, restaurant patrons were treated to photos of Hillary Clinton's failures.
Instead of delectable menu items, restaurant patrons were treated to photos of Hillary Clinton’s failures.

Breakfast:

chorizo and eggs for all the hungry undocumented voters  15

imam pancakes with vermont maple syrup  12

Lunch:

poverty due to this economy $2

broccoli, cheddar and egg whites (that’s racist!) on wheat  9

And general:

democrat women are pieces of meat

(subject to availability)

gays need jobs too  3.50

we hate only christian churches, muslims rock  4.25

muslims kill gays, we support them  4

get stoned at the beverly hilton  4.50

we hate gays, we love democrat gays 3.75

we hate women, we love democrat women  3.25

we hate mexicans, we love democrat mexicans  4.25

we failed with ebola  3

all cities run by democrats are broken  6.25

Reaction has been mixed:

 

And SABO has responded to critics:

California’s plastic bag ban & fee heads to Gov Brown; pro choice backers react

The Democrats’ plastic bag ban deprives you of choice and charges you for the free bag they haven’t banned–yet.

plasticbagimages_thumb_180x160 First the bag banners said bags were killing marine life by the hundreds of thousands. When that proved untrue, the bag banners pivoted to ‘garbage island’ that churned with plastic bags in a gyre “twice the size of Texas” just off “the Oregon coast.” When we busted them for lying, they came back with new nomenclature. They were no longer merely plastic bags, they were ‘single use‘ plastic bags which MUST BE STOPPED! When people examined their lives and determined that can’t be right, I use those bags to pick up Skipper’s poop from the yard or on our walks, they pivoted to another whopper: there are drifts of evil, single use, plastic bags EVERYwhere.

Except not.

For example, when I asked listeners to KOGO Radio to call me with a litter report, a bicyclist said he’d been keeping track of litter on the side of the road. His report? Drink containers outnumbered bags at least four to one. This kind of result happens all the time. Do your own survey and you’ll discover this is just puffed up claim to sell the ban. Another ‘look over there’ move to decoy you into thinking something important is going on here. And it’s not.

If drink containers (in Oregon it was fast food bags) outnumber plastic bags Screen Shot 2014-08-31 at 11.35.58 PMon the sides of the roads and in parks, why aren’t these elected geniuses banning that stuff? Because you’d get really po’d at them, that’s why. You might actually show up to vote and turn them out.  It’s a power grab to reduce your choices, it’s a low risk bill that, to some, looks like something but is no more substantial than the bag they’re trying to ban.

I’ve written endlessly about this issue here, here, here, here ad nauseum. Been there, done that. Now you will too, California.  Unless you stop them.

Here’s the reaction to the passage of the Assembly Bill by the pro choice folks at the American Progressive Bag Alliance:

The American Progressive Bag Alliance (APBA) issued the following statement from Executive Director Lee Califf after the California State Assembly voted 44-29 to advance Senator Alex Padilla’s statewide plastic bag ban, SB 270, which now moves to the State Senate floor for a concurrence vote.

“It’s disappointing that members of the Assembly voted to advance a bill that threatens 2,000 California manufacturing jobs, hurts consumers and puts billions of dollars into the pockets of grocers – without providing any benefit to the environment.

We hope the members of the State Senate exercise better judgment by supporting California jobs and working families and voting down this terrible bill.”

Hackers claiming to work for ISIS ground San Diego bound plane; Sony online chief targeted

Developing… More when I talk about this on KOGO noon-3 today. Hackers claim to “plant ISIS flag on Sony servers

Is it mere bluster or has the anarchist left joined forces with the terror organization ISIS? 
https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/503558145784815619
10News reports the hacker group invoked the name ISIS as its reason for going after the plane and one of the occupants: John Smedley of Sony online, makers of Playstation.


Hackers attacked Playstation, bringing it down, all day yesterday.The take down was only confirmed by Sony today.



The hacker group first threatened the flight and then gloated when the feds ordered it down in Phoenix.
https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/503615825576591360
https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/503631408368078848
https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/503634082262024193
https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/503911170399825920
https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/503764485358628864
https://twitter.com/LizardSquad/status/503743815505571840

San Diego Minimum Wage: Unions, Gloria vow to stop public vote

Tom Del Beccaro: California’s present tells nation’s future. It ain’t pretty.

 “High debt, high taxes, high regulations & high poverty”

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You have heard it before: “As California goes, so goes the nation.”  If that is the case, the national economy will be harmed for decades to come because of California’s misplaced priorities today.  Indeed, by emphasizing high-speed rail over water and failing to deal with its debt crisis, California poses a long-term threat to our national economy and is on an economic collision course of increased immigration and lack of water.

Despite a much-heralded recovery in the media and by Governor Jerry Brown, California still has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.  Also, more than 30% of the nation’s welfare recipients are Californians – even though California has just 12% of the nation’s population.  It is not surprising, therefore, that California is ranked number one in poverty.

The cause for those bad statistics is bad government policy.  California is the most regulated, highest-taxed, most in-debt state in America.  

Beyond debt, Governor Brown recently signed a huge tax increase featuring a top rate of 13.3%.  Overall, California taxes are 42% higher than Texas. 

Read the rest of Tom’s piece at Forbes: 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasdelbeccaro/2014/08/19/calfiornias-economic-collision-course-immigration-and-water/

Worse & Worser: California’s plastic bag ban bill

How one California State Senator should have quit while he was behind. Vote expected Thursday.

plasticbagimages_thumb_180x160 The idea, Senator Alex Padilla thought, was to outlaw plastic bags altogether. Banning plastic bags was a winning issue! Everybody was doing it: San Francisco! Portland! Laguna Beach! Seattle! LA! The biggest brains and brightest lights were backing a bag ban.

It was supported by air tight logic. Plastic is evil–everybody knows that. Those bags are like ebola to marine life. Entire schools of fish and collections of cetaceans dine out at garbage island and–BOOM!–they’re dead within days. If they can ever actually find garbage island, the Health Department will give it an “F” rating,  just you wait.

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After researchers found no garbage island, activists went out and found one. Note the size of the raft next to it. Note, too, plastic fishing line, but no plastic bags.

But those bags are a menace on land, too. Those light weight ‘T’ shaped-bags are collecting like snow drifts along California curbs! In fact, at this moment, there could be a sea turtle who emerged from the water spill who passes his days munching bags on Sunset Boulevard.

Bag banners conjured this image to sell idea sea mammals eat plastic bags, a claim which has been debunked.
Bag banners conjured this image to sell idea sea mammals eat plastic bags, a claim which has been debunked.

These bags are such a menace they end up in land fills. Who do we think we are using bags made out of captured-off-gas to hold our groceries? What kind of monsters are we when we recycle them at the store or reuse them to pick up dog poop or line our trash cans? And, more horrifically, how dare we take that reused bag and  THEN THROW IT AWAY where bags make up an infinitesimal (0.40%) space in land fills! 

Plastic bags aren’t even really ‘plastic’ as we traditionally know it. Bag banners wish to extinguish the light weight “T-shirt” bags made from ethane gas. The ethane gas is ordinarily emitted into the atmosphere while processing natural gas, but, in the US, bag manufacturers capture it and make the bags. Put another way, a greenhouse gas is stopped from polluting the atmosphere and made into something useful.  

The environmentalists are against that. (Call 1-800-Whip-Lash if you suffer injury due to that pretzel logic.) But there’s more bad news for the plastic-bags-are-evil crowd! There is no bag-filled garbage island, no plastic bag induced fish die offs and no snow drifts of plastic bags. 

But that doesn’t mean this issue isn’t a winner for State Senator Padilla. Voters don’t seem to know the facts. And the media? They’re eating up the battle! Grocery stores versus plastic bag manufacturers! BOOM! Grocery stores against poor people! BAM! Scribes scrum! Cameras hum! Microphones are slung! All eyes on him!

In fact, Alex Padilla is so devoted to the idea of banning bags, alterations to his bill are getting more absurd.  He first set out to appease the spotted -owl-global-cooling-warming-chaos-climatephobia scare mongers. He proclaimed the proposed statewide plastic bag ban a ‘compromise.’

Now let’s be honest. Accepting the dodgy “facts” of the people behind provably false claims, writing a bill based on them and claiming it’s a compromise is a little like bidding against yourself at an auction or like government collective bargaining. 

So Padilla appealed to common sense. You know, the kind employed by 12 year olds. It goes something like this: Oh, c’mon, Mom, everybody’s doing it! The state senate analog is since 90 + cities in California have a plastic bag ban, the state should naturally follow along, providing a common, streamlined, predictable law for the entire state. Which might make sense if the ban had been built on, you know, facts…and stuff.

When Padilla got blow back from the bag manufacturers for killing plastic bag jobs, he tried to pay off manufacturers by allowing them to apply for “grants” (read: cash giveaways) to make politically correct bags. Seeding needed changes in manufacturing with enticements by government money giveaways might make sense if the ban had been based on, you know, facts…and stuff.

When he got blow back for proposing a new fee on paper bags and forcing people to buy more expensive reusable bags (usually built in China–helllllloooo, carbon footprint anyone?) he changed his bill again, giving poor people an exemption. Which would make sense, I guess, if the bill had been a moral imperative built on, you know, facts…and stuff.

Each time the state-senator-turned-candidate-for-secretary-of-state has changed his bill, he has outed it as an expensive, unnecessary fraud, based on nothing but the airy fairy, hoped-for-verisimilitudes which might make sense if it had been built on, you know, facts…and stuff.

But it’s not. California lawmakers should say ‘no’ because at least a ‘no’ vote is built on, you know, facts…and stuff.

*Video* Kashkari: Water more important than ‘Crazy Train’

GOP governor candidate Neel Kashkari says California’s water crisis is more important than Jerry Brown’s ‘Crazy Train’

California Governor candidate Neel Kashkari. Photo by Victoria Taft
California Governor candidate Neel Kashkari. Photo by Victoria Taft

California Governor Jerry Brown has already weighed in on the state water crisis by ordering the roll back of regulations he and the Democrats put in place that have kept water from PEOPLE. Brown acknowledges through his own action his rules have exacerbated the drought, but his opponent in the race for governor, Neel Kashkari, has not made it an issue–although he should.

Californians are now witnessing dust bowls at farms and ranches and downright water rustling. And considering there’s no plan on track to build more reservoirs and dams things can only get worse. 

I asked the Treasury-Department-official-turned-candidate about the water issue while at San Diego’s Politifest confab on Saturday. He acknowledged Brown’s priorities are out of whack. He says the Brown high speed rail line should be scrapped and the money used for other priorities–education, jobs and WATER. 

Drought: Thieves steal water from California fire department

Sign of things to come? The second major water heist occurs in Northern California town.

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Thieves have stolen thousands of gallons of water from a Northern California fire department, leaving that community high and dry in case of a fire. It’s the second time in two months huge amounts of water have been stolen.

“It’s absolutely terrifying. We count on our fire department to be ready and take care of us.”

I’ve heard of people stealing metal to turn into meth and siphoning gas to get to work,  but this is a first. Though we don’t know the motives of the water rustlers in the Northern California town of North San Juan, we do know they stole thousands of gallons. …From the fire department. …During fire season. 

It could be that since things are so bad in California what, with environmentalists trying take out dams which hold water for people and being responsible for diverting water from people and farmers to ‘save’ a non indigenous bait fish, that it appears water is the new gold.

This is not even the first time this has happened. Neighbors say a school near Camptonville lost six thousand gallons two months ago.

CBS reports it looks as if the water rustlers had big trucks to cart off the water.

Investigators believe the thief has to be someone with knowledge of water tank connectors and someone with a large enough truck to haul it away.

California city says ‘No’ to shelter for illegal alien border crashers

Escondido Planning Commission says ‘no’ for second time to shelter for Central American children who crashed the border. Appeal is expected.

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The Escondido Planning Commission has said ‘no’ for a second time to converting a senior center into a shelter for dozens of illegal alien children who crashed the border.  Backers of the shelter, including the ACLU, showed up en masse to convince the Commission to change its decision and were reminded, “We need to take on the moral responsibility of standing against bigotry, hate and intolerance.”

The ACLU organized a rally before the meeting.

Before the Planning Commission voted ‘no’ for a shelter, this woman claimed a shelter for illegal aliens would create jobs,

The children were brought out as human shields, outside–

10News reports the protesters may appeal the decision to the Escondido City Council.